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The Airmen's Stories - F/O J W Cutts


John Wintringham Cutts of Felpham, Sussex, was born in June 1920. His father was a solicitor who had been a solicitor's articled clerk. In 1916 he was initiated into the Gordon Lodge of Freemasons in Bognor Regis. In 1939 he was a member of the special constabulary and his address was in the Sussex town.

JW Cutts joined the RAF in 1938 on a short service commission and began his training on 4th April 1938. He went to 7 OTU Hawarden on 17th June 1940 and, after converting to Spitfires, he joined 222 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on the 28th.


Above: Cutts, far right.


Cutts flew his first operational sortie on 5th July. On the 25th he made a forced-landing four miles N of base after an engagement with He111s off Mablethorpe, during which he shared in the probable destruction of one.

The squadron moved to Hornchurch on 29th August and on the 30th Cutts shared in the destruction of a He111. On the 31st he claimed a Me109 probably destroyed and 3rd September he destroyed another. On 4th September Cutts was shot down by Me109s over Maidstone. His Spitfire, X4278, crashed and burned out on Amberfield Farm, Chart Sutton and Cutts was reported ‘Missing’.

In the summer of 1972 Cutts crash site was excavated but no human remains were found. Then in 1999 from a reappraisal of written records it was discovered that the body of an unknown airman had been discovered at Amberley (sic) Farm on 14th September 1940 and buried as such in Sittingbourne cemetery on 28th September. The evidence was strong enough for the authorities to erect a new headstone bearing Cutts name.







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